On April 22nd the polity of the capital city will send in the youngest mayor in recent history regardless of who wins. The victor will provide a certain measure of continuity since both the son of the late mayor and the councilman have been a party to city governance. If Chokwe Antar Lumumba wins, he will have another group of advisers and perhaps change a couple department heads. The Yarber municipal government would likely return some former public servants as his institutional knowledge is deeper and more conservative. His campaign contributors have been patricians, former officials and contractors of the state and local governments. The Yarber supporters have a distaste for the radical democratic rhetoric and populism of the Lumumbas. The Lumumbas have introduced a theory of government that marginalizes council, bureaucracy, the middle men, and contractors of the old city functioning. The Lumumba emphasis on right of the people to petition the government through novel forms such as the ‘people’s congress’ in each ward has shaken the normal political class operations in this city. The special mayoral election had three council members in the race though they demurred on questioning this Lumumba tactic of direct democracy which derails the regular ward functioning. The structure of city contracting will be re-tooled to include new business partners and participants if the Lumumba continuity is affirmed by the April 22nd election. I prefer the Lumumba continuity in this city.
Neither candidate for Jackson mayor is orthodox or untarnished. The brother with the African name was born in Detroit in 1947 and the younger candidate was born several decades later in Jackson. The human condition has touched each with compromising situations. This 2013 municipal election is like the 1828 Jackson presidential victory. It was the first time a President had not been a Virginian or Massachusetts yankee. The 1828 election was a revolution of national politics. A more democratic style of governance was born in the political life by this frontiersman, Andrew Jackson, who might have been born at sea instead of the Waxhaws of Carolina. There is a rumor that he was not born on the land. Lumumba, like Andrew Jackson, was criticized for his tendency toward militancy and confrontation. Jackson for his dueling, scorched-earth military policy toward the Indians, and the execution of deserters. Chokwe Lumumba has a past influenced by the Garveyism, labor organizing, and police brutality of post-war Detroit.
Andrew Jackson prevailed over John Q. Adams who got only 43% of the popular vote. Lumumba will probably upset Jonathan Lee, the young moderate. Lee is better mannered perhaps, but not more intellectual or more articulate than his elder. He is a sometime businessman, Chamber of Commerce leader, and Jackson native. His problem is an earlier more suburban style, Republican support, and his recent location back to this side of the river from Rankin County.
In 1828 in Hinds County poll boxes at Jackson proper and at Hezekiah Billingsley’s box heaped the votes for Andrew Jackson like the present St. James Episcopal and Fondren Presbyterian church poll boxes heaped up the Jonathan Lee vote. In 1828 Josiah Shipp, Fleetwood, and Crossroad poll precincts in this county were kind to John Quincy Adams, but he was bested in these precincts by Jackson. The Baldwin box was only mildly kind to Adams where this western box gave him one out of five votes. The Jackson proper poll box had only two voters to cast for Adams. This precinct would be the first municipal precinct now the Eudora Welty Library box. The Billingsley poll box polled only three Adamites. Billingsley precinct was near the modern-day Ross Barnett Reservoir.
The other Fondren precinct is the Woodland Hills Baptist box which is a combination of the old precincts 15 and 16. We had sixty seven Lumumba votes. Over a thousand folk are on the register for this box in the center of Fondren. Michael Raff, the Mayor’s Cultural department director, was the poll watcher for Harvey at the Woodland Hills box during the Democratic mayoral primary.
The new Freedom Democrat wing of the party might be hatched in Jackson just like the Barbour-Reagan revolution was hatched in the this place over thirty years ago. Bennie Thompson is anointing Chokwe to do in Jackson what Bennie did in Washington. Solidify a progressive and leftist base…in the heart of Mississippi. As of Saturday evening the Fondren area near the Fondren Park had not been canvased for either candidate. Nor had the Midtown streets of Keener, Wesley, Millsaps, and McTyre. West Street behind Millsaps College had seen a few Lumumba campaigners. I heard some Lumumba radio ads being played from the front porches of Midtown and Fondren. Vote for the brother with the African name.
The municipal election for Jackson Mississippi will be held for the Democratic Party runoff on the 21st. The mayoral runoff will no doubt be decisive. I am naturally allied to the candidacy of Chokwe Lumumba due to his progressive and grassroots approach to politics. I am a Green Party voter which means I like the bottom up philosophy, the distrust of large powerful interests, and emphasis on sustainable economic foundations.